Some Interesting Essays

I have looked around at some bibliographies and some references to find a group of essays that could be very interesting to read.

"The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" Walter Benjamin
"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception" Adorno
"Theory of Radio" Bertolt Brecht
"Virtual Reality: Beyond Cartesian Space" Sally Pryor an Jill Scott
"The Safe Abyss: Whats Wrong with Virtual Reality?" Steven Whittaker
"The Erotic Ontology of Cyberspace" Michael Heim


alright so just as a fun little breaks from out final project work, ithought id link you all to a short video i made, my senior year in high school. Granted its all in japanese( it was a class final project) but its pretty dumb and chock full of "bad" editing tricks and random music. so enjoy!
The Movie!

Our Cyborg Selves

Both Dibbell's "A Rape in Cyberspace" and Turkle's Who Am We?" deal with the composition of identity in the cyber world. Finding gray areas and transgressions between VR (virtual reality) and RL (real life) appears to be their specialty. Understanding the significance of cyber spaces, societies, and relationships blurs the common separation between the real and the virtual, the body and the mind. Central to this reconstituted person is "thinking about the self as a multiple, distributed system-- a decentered self that exists in many worlds" (Turkle, 237).

Lets Do the Revolution

Donna Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto Science, Technology, and the Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century" (1985) promises the destruction of gender and minority otherness through technology. Her cyborg experience of being transgresses gender, racial, and sexual, and class boundaries. Maintaining that there is "nothing about being 'female' that naturally binds women" (519), Haraway argues for a technological reinterpretation of identity.

A Legacy of Torture

Earlier I attended the screening of "A legacy of Torture" at Hahn. I went because it seemed interesting and I thought we would get extra credit for it, but I'm wondering if I went to the right event now because I did not see anybody else from our class there. Anyway, either way, I'll write my blog post on it.

Woman, Children, and Laws

Laura Miller's article "Women and Children First" really made me question many of my assumptions about gender and gender roles. After reading "A Rape in Cyberspace," I had been strongly in favor of prosecuting the "rapist" as well as protecting women on cyberspace from virtual sexual assault. Furthermore, I had assumed that I was being thoughtful and considerate in their viewpoint. I was even a bit self satisfied for arguing it.

Sterility and Community

Avaital Ronell argued a couple of points in her eloquent yet hard-to-follow essay "a disappearance of community." It seems to me that her two main arguments are that virtual realities are giving us a sterile impression of a war that is dirty and bloody, and that the virtual reality discourages community. These are good points and make sense, however, I don't fully understand the relationship between them.

Why are boring things so funny?


For my term project, I've been trying to film the most uninteresting videos fathomable. I will post them to YouTube, and then see if anyone watches them. The point of this project is to test just how far the "long tail" goes. However, as I have been creating it, this project has raised some interesting questions about the relation between boredom and humor.

Weekend Update


This weekend I saw a couple of interesting things pertaining to our class. On Thursday I saw a lecture given by Alan Calpe. He was presenting his work, specifically Let's Be Civil and Huff: A Given Give-In. It was kind of weird, but overall pretty interesting. Beside Calpe's lecture I also attended the Richard Walter lecture on writing screenplays. Mr. Walter is a film teacher at UCLA and has written several books including Escape from Film School and he has made several appearances on the O'Reilly Factor. Here are some of his more interesting points from the lecture.

Iraq, Feminism, and Pornography

The Disappearance of Community
by Avital Ronell

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